Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Area
Wild flowers flourish in Los Reales
Located in the southwest part of Malaga province, the Sierra Bermeja is a mountain range with an average height of 1,000m (its highest point being 1,450m), covering 1,236ha. It is an area that has undergone major volcanic activity; the rocks are rich in the olivine mineral. Rainwater has oxidised the iron and magnesium present in the rocks and the iron oxide has coloured the rock reddish-ginger, a hue that gives the sierra its name.
A more detail page about Sierra Bermeja mountain can be read in our Estepona Section.
You can drive to near the top of Sierra Bermeja in under an hour. Take the road signposted Genalguacil from the traffic lights on the Estepona inner bypass (Avda de Andalucia), near the Mercadona supermarket. This is the MA 557.
About half an hour after leaving Estepona you will reach "Peñas Blancas" pass. Turn left following the sign up to "Los Reales". The tarmac road is old and in a poor state of repair, however a 4x4 vehicle is not necessary.
From Peñas Blancas pass the road also leads down to Jubrique and to Genalguacil and on to the Gaucin – Ronda road. In this way one can make an enjoyable half day drive from Estepona up to Sierra Bermeja and then returning by Gaucin and Manilva or by Ronda and San Pedro .
On the road near to the summit of Sierra Bermeja there is "Refugio de los Reales". More info
Nearby you will find a recreational area with picnic tables and barbecue facilities. There is also a car park and a short walk leads to a mirador point.
From the road leading to the summit of Sierra Bermeja and from the pass a Peñas Blancas there is a marked path for a walk through the pine forest called “Paseo de los Pinsapos.” The pine trees are unique to this part of the world (abes pinaspo boiss). More info
The Sierra's most notable tree is the pinsapo (Spanish fir), which only grows in Andalucía in this area and the neighbouring Serranía de Ronda. It sometimes grows out of the volcanic outcrops, which is a unique occurrence. Common trees here are maritime and Austrian pines, cork and kermes oaks, junipers and yew trees. There are some species of Mediterranean scrubland such as rosemary and dwarf fan palms. In the rockier, more remote areas there is an endemic species of garlic, allium rouyi, which was discovered in the sierra in the late 19th century.
The most common mammals are the mountain goat, the roe deer and the Egyptian mongoose. The species of roe deer (el corzo morisco, as it is known locally) is unique to the sierras of Malaga and Cadiz provinces. It is has adapted to a drier habitat and has evolved different physical features from other roe deer. Less visible are the otters and wild cats. Raptors nest in the many sheer slopes and include booted eagles, Griffon vultures, sparrowhawks and eagle and long-eared owls.
There are many reptiles, including salamanders, toads, the Spanish terrapin (mauremys leproso), the Iberian worm lizard and the three-toed skink lizard.